01 DECEMBER 2021

When you go to the vegan aisle of any supermarket worldwide you always see food that looks nothing like a vegetable. Sausages, burgers, or nuggets are the most common vegan products that you may find in the fridges or freezers. On top of that, when you buy any vegan item, you will realize that the taste is very similar to chicken, pork, beef, or any other animal that is normally eaten in your country. Have you ever wondered why? Why is the vegan industry trying to copy meat flavors, textures, and aspects?



Food tendencies

The food industry has always been changing depending on consumer behavior and needs. From high-fiber products to sugar and salt content reduction and the most recent clean label products or gluten-free are some examples of food trends. Many people may think that the food industry is the one that drives the consumer to change his purchasing behavior but it is nothing like that. The food industry is the one that adapts to consumers' requests and the vegan industry is affected by this pattern as well. So, why do we try to recreate animal tissues and flavors?

Meat-eating society

All of the population who change their diet to a plant-based diet have been raised in a meat-consuming society and have consumed meat before they turned into plant-based consumers. You may remember your favorite dish that you use to eat when you were a child. Was it plant-based? Probably not. It is very likely that the vegetables were on the side, and probably not even eaten. Modern society has consumed meat in such a way that it is very difficult to avoid it in most recipes. We have been raised surrounded by animal products and this is one of the reasons why it is so difficult to replace them in taste and texture. Meat has always been the star of the main course.

Recognize what you eat

Would you be willing to try a chunk of fungi-based food with a non-common texture or you rather try a fungi-based burger that tastes and feels like beef? Probably the second option, right? The reason why we feel comfortable eating something that feels and tastes like the food that we have always eaten is that we can recognize it. There is part of the population that is afraid and is reluctant to try new food, especially kids (Marcontell et al., 2003). This term is known as food neophobia and it is a very important aspect when you try to launch new products in the market. If you cannot recognize it, it is probable that you are not even going to try it… But it is okay because the food industry is aware and will satisfy your needs.



Vegans like the meat taste

Being vegan is a choice that you make for many different reasons. It can be environmental reasons, animal cruelty or simply you don’t like the taste of meat. This last group is not a very large percentage of the vegetarians or vegans out there. “We like the taste, not the cruelty behind” is one of the many statements you may hear from a vegan person. Most vegan and vegetarian like and, actually, buy vegan products with a high resemblance to meat and the food industry knows it.

Between all these new food tendencies we find the flexitarians. This group of people wants to reduce their meat intake but not eliminate it completely. They are a good example to explain the food intake shift of society. Since this change is going to be gradual and not right away, the flexitarians are a good representation of it. We are going to change our diets sooner or later and these little steps are the beginning of the change.


So the question is: Can we teach ourselves to like vegan-tasting and vegan-texture food?

It is very tough to change a diet completely if you are pushed to it so the most important ingredient is the power of will. You need to gradually get used to the not-so-new textures and flavors and, most importantly, not compare it with animal protein. Remember that you will be eating plant-based food and not meat. When it comes to us and for now, we will try to make food that you love until we are all ready for the final step and follow the change that society needs.



Marcontell, D. K., Laster, A. E., & Johnson, J. (2003). Cognitive-behavioral treatment of food neophobia in adults. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 17(2), 243–251. 


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